The story behind Alcyone Peace Park at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine
One never knows when inspiration would strike and what a single act could lead to. This is the story of Alcyone Peace Park at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine in Trinidad.
In 2011, I received an invitation to Haverford College, USA, as a guest of Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. While there I was taken on a tour of the campus where I saw my first peace pole. In 1955, Peace Poles were the brainchild of Masahisa Goi in Japan. They take the form of a vertical monument that has the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages. It was motivated by the destruction wrought by World War II (WWII) and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Deeply affected by the devastation of war, Goi wished to spread a message of peace worldwide. The poles are now found in many parts of the world outside Japan.
Physics, as a scientific discipline, played a pivotal role during WWII. A sad turn of events saw the development of the atom bomb from the discovery of the most famous equation in the world, E = mc2.
As a physicist, I was inspired to build a peace pole within an astronomy-themed peace park back at home at UWI as a reminder of our humanity and that science should be used for good henceforth.
When the idea was shared with students doing the summer course “Introduction to Astronomy” –the response was overwhelming. Students raised funds, designed the pole and built the pavers from scratch to make the iconic park. Naturally, it’s astronomy-themed with constellations on the benches painted by students, models of the pyramids of Giza reminiscent of Archaeoastronomy, and a wishing well with the Aquarius constellation on it. The name, Alcyone Peace Park is also significant. Alcyone is the brightest star in the Pleiades and is a hallmark of peace. The peace pole stands at the centre with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in English, Hindi, Spanish and French – languages in common use today in Trinidad and Tobago.
The park is located on a corner opposite the CARDI Building and is a common site for photography by the campus population and the general public. We continue to improve on the existing design, with a sundial yet to be implemented …...
June 15th, 2020
The Department of Computing and Information Technology (DCIT) enthusiastically welcomes you to our DCIT Database Concepts Bootcamp (DCB). The Computing and Information Technology (IT) Bootcamp offers a two-week 100% online experience filled with many stimulating activities from August 10th to 21st, 2020. These activities are designed to introduce students to Databases in the Computing and IT fields at UWI. Students will participate in a range of fun and intellectual activities conducted by lecturers, postgraduate students and professionals in the industry. The camp is intended for Forms 4, 5 and 6 secondary school students and prospective undergraduate students who may be interested in the field of Database Foundations, Design and Application Development within Computing and IT. We encourage you to be a part of this year’s DCIT Database Concepts Bootcamp and open your future to possibilities in this exciting and fast-paced field.June 10th, 2020
Head of the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of the West Indies Professor Judith Gobin is the first female to attain Professorship in the Natural Sciences discipline. She talks about World Ocean Day, 'innovation for a sustainable ocean', her journey to this goal of professorship, gender equality and other related issues.
June 8th, 2020
It’s World Oceans Day! The Visual Arts Unit at the UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA), Faculty of Humanities and Education, celebrates with an online catalogue of artwork by students. See their various perspectives as they take creative action to support efforts to protect and restore our shared ocean. Students spent time with Professor Judith Gobin, Professor of Marine Biology and Head of the UWI Department of Life Sciences, who gave insights to the critical role the ocean plays in sustaining life on earth. The artworks are the outcome of research and reflection on ocean environmental issues. Images include a look at the endangered Green Turtle and bold statements about plastic pollution.
View the work here: https://bit.ly/2Y8eX79
For UN World Oceans Day on Monday 8th June, we asked 12 deep-sea scientists from the DOSI network around the world, what their favourite deep-sea image was, and why. Find out what happened. Fast forward to 1:27 and you’ll see our Head of Department of Life Sciences, Professor Judith Gobin.